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Josh Bornstein

Principal Lawyer, National Head of Employment Law
Josh Bornstein

Josh Bornstein is a Principal Lawyer at Maurice Blackburn, based in Melbourne. He is the national head of the firm’s Employment and Industrial Law department. Josh is one of the most accomplished and respected employment lawyers in the country. One way this is evidenced is by his unwavering position as a Preeminent Lawyer for Victoria and Australia on the industry-recognised Doyle’s Guide.

Practice Area

Employment issues


BA, LLB (Hons)

Josh is an award-winning employment lawyer with over 20 years experience. His clients have included: senior executives, three women who were sexually harassed by former High Court Judge Dyson Heydon, the Victorian Government Ombudsman, broadcaster Ross Stephenson, publisher Louise Adler, former Melbourne City Councillor Tessa Sullivan, the State of Victoria, legal, health, education and financial services professionals, IFM Investors, the Fair Work Ombudsman, Australian Super and the Essendon Football Club. 

Josh is a skilled and strategic advisor and litigator with extensive experience regarding: employment contracts, restraint of trade, sexual harassmentworkplace investigations, adverse action, unlawful discrimination, whistleblower claimsworkplace bullying, and industrial disputation. He is vigilant about the protection of his client’s health and reputation.

Josh's legal achievements include:

  • Successfully sued Qantas for illegally sacking 1700 employees on behalf of the Transport Workers Union in litigation in both the Federal and High Courts.
  • Obtaining an historic compensation settlement on behalf of 3 women whose claims of sexual harassment against former High Court judge, Dyson Heydon, were upheld by an independent investigation
  • Settled an unlawful discrimination class action against the Commonwealth for $100 million
  • Represented the Victorian Government Ombudsman in a workplace investigation
  • Represented the Chief of Staff to a Victorian Government Minister whose workplace bullying complaint was investigated and upheld
  • Obtained a seven-figure settlement for an unpaid bonus for a senior executive
  • Represented Essendon Football Club in litigation about ASADA's investigations 
  • Acted for the Fair Work Ombudsman in its prosecution of an employer who failed to offer a suitable position to an employee returning to work from maternity leave
“Thank you for your and your team’s support and guidance. You stood by me. I have learned a lot on this journey. One learning is that you are not just another good lawyer. You and your team provide an invaluable service: to give a voice to the marginalised. With this result I have my voice back. I have achieved a resolution after two years of standing up for what is right, even when it was not necessarily popular to do so. I cannot thank you enough.” 
- Senior Executive, Financial Services

Memberships & accreditations

  • Law Institute of Victoria | Member of Workplace Relations Executive
  • University of Melbourne | Centre for Employment and Labour Relations Law | Advisory Board Member
  • Australian Journal of Labour Law | Editorial Committee Member
  • The Australia Institute | Public Policy Think Tank | Board Director
  • The Australia Institute | Centre for Future Work | Advisory Committee Member
  • Racing Victoria | Racing Appeals and Disciplinary Board | Deputy Chairman & Tribunal Member
  • National COVID-19 Coordination Commission | Industrial Relations Advisory Group | Member
  • Maurice Blackburn Lawyers | Board Director | 2004 - 2017


  • Doyle's Guide | VIC Preeminent or Market Leader Employment Lawyer | 2013 - 2024
  • Doyle's Guide | AUS Preeminent or Market Leader Employment Lawyer | 2016 - 2023
  • Best Lawyers | Labour and Employment Law Lawyer of the Year, Melbourne | 2024
  • Best Lawyers | Labour and Employment Law in Australia | 2020 - 2024
  • Lawyers Weekly Awards | Workplace Relations Partner of the Year | 2019
  • Expert Guides | Best Employment Lawyers Worldwide | 2017
  • Law Institute of Victoria | Outstanding Contribution to the Legal Profession | Service Certificate 2014

Office locations

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Our Canberra office is now closed, but our team continues to serve ACT clients and are available for phone and video appointments. If you need legal advice, please call us on 1800 675 346.

We have lawyers who specialise in a range of legal claims who travel to Tasmania. If you need a lawyer in Hobart, Launceston or elsewhere in Tasmania, please call us on 1800 675 346.